John Spottiswoode, Jacobean archbishop and statesman
This main aim of this thesis is to conclusively demonstrate that John Spottiswoode was one of the most important churchman in early modern Scotland. He was, it will be shown, the most authoritative and impressive of Scotland's post-Refonriation bishops. Spottiswoode was the principal ecclesiastic in James VI's reconstruction of an episcopal church in Scotland after 1603 when he was appointed Archbisiop of Glasgow. This was followed by his prestigious translation to the metropolitan see of St Andrews in 1615 from where he presided over those controversial liturgical reforms of the succeeding years of the Jacobean era. Moreover, as a prominent member of the Scottish government he was heavily involved in secular politics and administration throughout the absentee kingship of James VI and that of his son, Charles I. This study, however, will confine itself to charting the archbishop's ecclesiastical and political ascendancy and involvement within the Scottish Jacobean church and state. Although Spottiswoode was without question a loyal supporter of the crown, it will be shown that he was no sycophant. Therefore, it is necessary to provide an analysis of the qualities and characteristics that made Spottiswoode such an influential figure and beneficiary of royal largesse between 1603 and 1625. Through focusing on the activities and objectives of Archbishop Spottiswoode throughout the reign of James VI, this thesis also aims to challenge the popular notion that the Church of Scotland functioned efficiently and harmoniously throughout the reign of"rex pacificus". Furthermore, the idea that an absolutist state existed in Scotland after the regal union will be exposed as fanciful.